The Sideshow
  • Nearly 20 percent of New Jersey's registered voters have at least one tattoo, a new poll conducted by Rutgers University ahead of the final season of MTV's "Jersey Shore" finds.

    According to the Rutgers-Eagleton Institute poll, 19 percent of nearly 1,000 registered voters in the state said they have at least one tattoo. And 37 percent of so-called millennials born after 1980 are inked.

    Of those without tattoos, just 8 percent plan to get one, the study found. And while 75 percent say their opinion of others is not affected by body art, nearly a quarter "say they think worse of people with tattoos."

    The disdain for body art steadily increases with age:

    30 percent of those 65 and older think worse of tattooed people, versus only 8 percent of millennials. Those with high levels of education and income also are more likely to negatively judge tattoos; college graduates (26 percent) and those with graduate work (27 percent) are about 10 points more likely to think worse of body art wearers. The tattooless in the highest income bracket (32 percent) are 12 to 13 points more likely to think this way than any other income level.

    According to the poll, President Obama leads Mitt Romney among New Jersey's tattooed registered voters. Fourteen percent of Garden State voters who say they're voting for Romney have tattoos, compared to 22 percent for Obama.

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  • In just 24 hours, one man's online petition convinced the National Geographic Channel to rethink its plans to include a big-game hunter on a new show set to debut this fall.

    Conservationist Tim Martell, 42, says a lifetime of watching National Geographic specials inspired him to pursue a career dedicated to preserving animals and their ecosystems. So he was shocked to discover that a new show about survivalists in the Alaskan wilderness would feature "Hardcore Huntress" Melissa Bachman, a well-known hunter who specializes in tracking and killing big game.

    "I'm not against all forms of hunting. I'm primarily against trophy hunters," Martell told Yahoo News in a phone interview on Friday. "I believe that it's wasteful. It's damaging to the ecosystem. To kill for a thrill or just a photograph is just unnecessary."

    Martell, who is a certified Florida Master Naturalist, was contacted by some of his friends who encouraged him to launch a petition against Bachman's involvement on the show. However, when Martell first contacted National Geographic via email, he says he received a "generic" response informing him that the network planned to move forward with Bachman's involvement.

    But less than 24 hours later, Martell's petition has received more than 13,000 signatures and has gone viral on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Martell then received another email from National Geographic, this time informing him that they had changed their minds about Bachman's involvement.

    Read More »from National Geographic Channel removes ‘hardcore huntress’ from show after online protest goes viral
  • Up in the air with a human-powered helicopter

    Students at University of Maryland are using pedal power to break a human-powered helicopter record (but hopefully to break nothing else).

    As surfaced by the blog Popsci, a video shows freshman Henry Enerson taking the vehicle up in the airwith nothing more than foot pedals keeping the thing above the groundhovering eight feet up, and then making a smooth descent. The operation smashed previous records of human-powered flight. Think of these brave students as modern-day Wright brothers (and sisters).

    As noted on the video description by the students who make up Team Gamera, "Henry smoothly pedaled Gamera up to just over 8 feet (2.5 meters) altitude and had a controlled descent for a flight time of about 25 seconds. This is not an 'official' record but is certainly the highest a human powered helicopter has ever reached."

    The students who call themselves Team Gamera aren't done yet. The group's flying contraption, the Gamera II Human Powered Helicopter, is recording test flights at

    Read More »from Up in the air with a human-powered helicopter


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